How to Make Money as Cartoonist

If you love to draw cartoons and you have the gift, then you should think to make money becoming a cartoonist.

Cartoonists draw comics and cartoons for several sources, like newspapers, magazines, books and even animated movies (think for example at the animated movies of Pixar ! From the genius Steve Jobs).

Make a living from this activity requires dedication, talent, perseverance, passion and patience.

There are a lot of very good cartoonists or illustrators that have to do other jobs in order to survive and support their passion of drawing.

You can think to follow some courses in one of the many art schools available around your area or you can also learn how to draw through online art programs.

If you are really talented you can even choose the path of self-taught.

Just keep in mind that you have to work a lot before you may reach the success with your creations, because the competition is huge.

An  important skill that you may need as cartoonist is writing, for istance to describe your subject.

Your character must have its own life. Think about Charlie Brown : he has personality, defined characteristics and a certain storyline.

But if writing is not your primary skill, you can choose to become a cartoonist that illustrate other people’s storylines.

You have to draw a lot, both for practice and for your portfolio.

Decide the format of your cartoon : cartoons may be a single panel or in strip form, they may be funny, like “Charlie Brown” or adventurous like “X-Men”.

You can also adventure yourself  in the manga world, the cartoon developed in Japan and very popular in this country, but also around the world.

Research newspapers and magazines to find potential buyers of your cartoon.

Contact film studios as well : animation is a growing business in the films industry, think about Shrek, The Ace Age or Toy Story. Also the TV Series, like the famous The Simpsons.

You may think to start your own business or choose to apply for a career as a cartoonist : than send your work to the companies that you want to work in.

A comics

Here below you find the steps in order to become a cartoonist.

1 . Power and Defend Your Passion

This is, in my opinion, the most important thing. And it seems pretty obvious.

Just think about crisis, about having a standard job, and work to feed family, pay the mortgage, etc. It is not easy to follow our dreams.

But think carefully and ask yourself : “Is this really my passion? What do I want to do in life? ”

If the answer is yes, then keep fighting to realize your dream.

2 . Read and Study

This is another very important point if you really want to grow as a person and as a professional cartoonist.

A golden rule is that you need to be curious, about life and everything that surrounds it.

And thus is automatically read, travel (if you have this possibility), do the right experiences, learn more about what is happening around us and, last but not least, open your mind to as many genres as possible : comics, movies, books and animation.

All this serves to increase your sources of inspiration, and your art, so consequently improve your professionalism.

3 . Start to Draw Real Stuff

In order to learn drawing is essential to take real subjects. This is important in order to draw in any style, both in comics and in that cartoon illustration, and in any other form of modern art.

This is because, if you simply copy a style already mixed and the result of a reinterpretation of reality, your professional will suffer greatly, and your art will not be more personal, but a bad copy of someone else.

It is important NOT to copy, but be original.

4 . Advertise Your Job with a Blog

You should use the web to let know the world about your passion and about your creations.

Create a blog, use Wordpress.

There are a lot of good Themes, both free or premium, that you can use in order to show your Portfolio.

WooThemes are wonderful if you want to have a professional looking blog or if you just want to differentiate from the most part of traditional available WordPress templates. The blog theme I use is called Fresh News, and it’s from WooThemes. I highly recommend them and their themes are definitely worth investing in.

5 . Learn a Technique of Painting

In order to color your works, both if you want to become a cartoonist or an illustrator, the advice is to learn at least one manual painting technique, before you start use any program of digital coloring.

Of course, the basic is always the drawing, and in case you decide to propose yourself only as a designer, this is not necessarily a step required.

Also this is not needed, if you decide to seek collaborations with colorists or authors of novels, fairy tales or comic book writers in order to realize your dream.

In case you still decide to use color in your work or even to propose youself only as a colorist, and you have to start from scratch if you have the chance and you never did art school, follow a good illustration course or painting and, once mastered at least one coloring technique realistic, at that point you will be able to also use Photoshop or similar programs in a manner at least dignified.

6 . Use Digital Tools

The computer and internet are officially entered in our lives, simplifying a lot of things.

Among all what you can do with your computer, of course, there is also graphics, animation and digital coloring.

Below you see some links to major programs both free and fee, that can be suitable for you :

– Adobe ;

– Art

7 . Compare Your Work With Others

You should never stop learning from the work of others, not only for your experience.

Of course this does not means to copy, but to take into account the work of others, learn to recognize and appreciate the artists and professionals of value and deal with them, even knowing them personally.

Always compare with others, learn to recognize artists of value and have the courage to express your constructive criticism.

Of course accept the same from others.

The only way to enrich yourself is never stop to learn!


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I hope this guide helped you : with a lot of perseverance and creativity, you can become a professional cartoonist.

Good luck and have fun  !



7 thoughts on “How to Make Money as Cartoonist

  1. Thanks for the encouraging tips. To be successful with cartoon, the cartoonist needs a unique style and stick with it. There is no short cut, it takes time and lots of effort all the way.

  2. I am an armature cartoonist . If you have any requirement to draw anything like this please let me know .

  3. This is one of the best posts I have seen on this subject. Don’t believe anyone who says they can teach you in a very short time how to draw and make a boatload of money. They are making money showing YOU how to draw? Have they ever done what they are telling you to do? Learn from someone who has done what you want to do. Sorry, my website,, is under construction. Dallas cartoonist

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